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Letterman Without Paul Shaffer? Longtime 'Late Show' Sidekick May Leave the Show TV Guide Canada, THR

David Letterman's longtime sidekick and musical director, Paul Shaffer, may leave the show when his contract expires, reports TV Guide Canada.

Shaffer told the publication that he's ready for a break. "We’ve been on 30 years so now we’ve got another two years. … I’m going to be certainly ready to lie down after that, take a nap,” he said. “But once again, life is nutty -- anything can happen. I’ve been so lucky and blessed to be working this long in show business. And whatever happens now is just gravy to me.”

Shaffer, 62, started with Letterman in 1982 when "Late Night with David Letterman" started on NBC, leading the World's Most Dangerous Band, notes The Hollywood Reporter.

He earns a reported $5 million a year for his work on CBS's "Late Show." TVWeek notes that it's not uncommon for performers to begin talking about leaving their gigs in advance of contract negotiations, and with two years left on his current deal, it may be that Shaffer is just getting the game started early.